For many a time since the earls and viscounts,
the ghastly sites of plastic wastes
in bedecked cities and her majesty’s villages
were held out of sight to everyone’s delight,
at the erstwhile agricultural county of Wen’an,
in our otherwise shrewd and Great Walled China.
And mounds of plastic wastes imported from several parts
of the ‘developed’ world
littered the fields and altered the landscape,
creating an ecosystem of rodents, birds, and bipeds,
all the while obeying the law of conservation of mass meticulously.
The hands that sowed the seeds and reaped the harvest just a
few decades thence, now shifted little this or that of the magnificent
plastic: a product of man’s unending thirst to create, to seek and to explore.
From dawn to and dusk and with a sullen face, these puckered
beings went about their lives unceremoniously.
While the soil parched, and the land wept,
the workers continued their journey of plastic sorting with nimble hands
and yearning thoughts, day and night.
The ‘developed man’s advancement certainly did
bring in a few Yuans to feed a few mouths full.
And so, they retired to their coffin beds, heaving a big sigh one last time.
As the children coughed incessantly and the river Hubei swelled perilously,
carrying with it wondrous leachates from our bountiful plastic,
the cauldrons that held the profits of multi-billion corporations bulged and expanded,
A volte-face decision by the Chinese officials to ban the import of plastics
and save their kind is worth a million applause.
After all, the Chinese government has a heart too ):
The joy of the ‘hazy sky’ knew no bounds thence.
Soon, the clouds shall come and would play hide and seek
with the Sun. Particulate matter held aloft in the
air for many years, would at last settle down for a long-wanted respite.
The lungs that breathed gases of all kinds,
Would finally savour the freshness of pure air.
With no one to recycle the plastic–
That had held the takeaway foods in Styrofoam trays for a few minutes of succulent relish,
or the ready foods on the aisles of our supermarkets for a week or two –
countries across the globe ran helter-skelter to seek ignorant souls who would bear the burden, after China’s retreat.
‘Green Impact’ committees were rolled out in Universities,
and frustrated environmentalists binned the plastic wrappings of food and vegetable packages at supermarket tills, to irate the management and urge them to act.
More research on plastic recycling is squarely needed,
including a committee perhaps that translates REF into tangible actions!